Hello from the last two weeks of my Saturn Return!
*If you’ve never heard of a Saturn Return don’t worry we will get into it next month.*
But for now, all you need to know is that a Saturn Return happens about every 27 years. If you turned 30 or 54 in the last year this applies to you. It’s a three-year astrological period that brings change and much-needed structure, and rewards patience and hard work.
So, I’m happy to share that after five years of navigating change and building structure in my role and my team at 18 Million Rising I am rewarding that patience and hard work with dreaming up my first sabbatical!
I always thought things like an extended paid period of time away from work for personal growth was a thing only given to rich&white&tenured professors. But here I am in 2023 I am Strategy + Creative Director / professor / artist / yoga teacher / young person just figuring shit out AND I’ve got a three-month sabbatical to dream up baby! (TY 18MR)
Right now I feel proud to be where I am. At the moment I’m writing to you from Oakland. I’m here with my 18MR team for our first staff retreat of the year to start our strategic visioning process. Last night we held a drag show happy hour at Understory. As more and more legislation that uses drag as a vehicle to ban the existence of trans people, it was especially wonderful to see so much of our community gathered to live, laugh, love, and celebrate our drag performers . I’m also six weeks into teaching what I hope will be the first of many undergraduate classes. This last Friday I took my art and design students on a field trip to the Manzanar Japanese Incarceration Camp and led a discussion on looking at histories and futures through an abolitionist lens.
I can confidently say that my ability to be curious has been a grounding constant in my career over the last ten years. I’ve applied my curiosity, strategic skills, and creativity to work my work across industries: policy research, advertising, my med-tech start-up, industrial design, teaching, and now digital organizing and movement building.
I’ve also been an artist since I was three, but in adulthood my artist self took a back seat while I figured out how to professionalize that creativity to pay bills. But, after these ten years of work, I’ve been craving an intentional space to see if I have any creative curiosity left for myself. My year-long artist residency with Level Ground taught me that I do, but the creative work I want to do now requires me to carve out more time and space to get curious.
So I decided I’m going to use this sabbatical time to support, resource, and deepen my personal creative practice as an artist and writer.
The prolific Mariame Kaba tells us: “Everything worthwhile is done with other people.” So if you’d like to be a part of my sabbatical dreaming process here are a few things you can do:
Send me artist residencies and fellowship applications you think I’d love (ranging from studio space, funding, mentorship, community, etc - in or out of state/country)
Share the ways you make intentional space for curiosity in your day to day
Ask me how the planning is going or even offer to help me map it out
Connect me to other creatives who have designed their own sabbatical, I’d love to hear all about it
As always, sending you love.
Things that are helping me figure my shit out right now:
I LOVE MY POINTS - in addition to flight miles, it gets you free DoorDash Pass, InstaCart+, and lots of other perks - this link will get you extra points too!
In addition to chapstick and lotion, I now keep one of these in my bag at all times
Storygraph, the Black-owned alternative to Amazon owned Goodreads
( I want to know what you’re reading - find me @ readwithbianca )
If you need a prescription filled it is SO much cheaper to do it here - ty mark cuban
I buy this for all my friends - treat yourself - it will change your life
Masseter Botox for my TMJ / Migraines - Shout out to my girl Steph!
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